St Neots Town suffered an agonising late twist in their Southern League Premier Division Central survival battle yesterday – when conceding against eight men.
Saints were undone by a leveller in stoppage time as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at a Redditch side who had three players dismissed.
The late goal cost Marc Abbott’s men the chance to rise out of the relegation zone. They now remain in the bottom three due to an inferior goal difference.
Gary Wharton’s second goal in as many matches handed Saints the perfect start as they hit the front after just three minutes.
Goalkeeper James Philp preserved that advantage with a penalty save five minutes before half-time and Redditch were then reduced to 10 men on the stroke of the interval when Richard Batchalor was sent off for a cynical challenge on Scott Pollock which led to the young Saints midfielder being withdrawn ahead of the second half.
The home side saw their numbers drop further with 18 minutes to go when Michael McGrath foolishly collected a second caution for handling a corner into the net – and then saw red again late on when Jamie Ashmore was dismissed.
But Saints failed to press home their advantage and were then stung as Robbie Bunn hit a leveller in the third minute of stoppage time.
St Ives Town continued their excellent Southern League Premier Division Central season with a smooth success yesterday.
First-half goals from Ben Seymour-Shove and Mark Coulson earned a 2-0 victory at bottom side Bedworth United.
The hosts saw an early strike ruled out for a foul on Saints keeper Martin Conway and Ricky Marheineke’s men soon hit the front themselves as Seymour-Shove provided a stunning finish to a peach of a pass from Munashe Sundire.
And, after going ahead with their first attempt on goal, they incredibly doubled their lead with their second such effort as Seymour-Shove turned creator to cross for Coulson to glance in a smart header.
Coulson was denied again by a goal-line clearance late in the second half, but Saints had already done enough to earn the points.